A hard task to settle our differences

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The comments by Alasdair Gray categorising our English neighbours as both “settlers” and “colonists” (your report, 17 December) are as offensive as they are foolish; one can only wonder at the motivation behind this ill-advised and intemperate outburst: attention seeking, perhaps?

Mr Gray would do well to consider Scottish history and the droves of Scots who left these shores for pastures new. Even closer to home, has he forgotten about the large numbers of his fellow countrymen who migrated (and indeed still do) south in search of stability and better living conditions: are they all “colonists” and “settlers” too? One would expect observations of this kind from embittered SNP bloggers and others of their ilk, but certainly not from a man who displays such obvious philosophical, literary and artistic talents.

If nothing else, it displays a remarkable degree of ego and total lack of humility, especially when untold numbers of these supposed English “settlers” and “colonists” have bought and enjoyed the fruits of his talents.

Brian Allan

Keith Street


There is no evidence of “anti-English bitterness” in the SNP, claims David Roche (Letters, 17 December). I wonder if he is aware that a high ranking minister in the present administration infamously called England the “Great Satan” at an SNP conference.

Perhaps that doesn’t count. These days these sentiments and instincts are kept under tight control.

As for the “foam-flecked nastiness” directed at the First Minister that Mr Roche also claims, I would ask any fair-minded judge to watch a random selection of First Minister’s Questions over the past few years and decide who is the nastiest, and most personally insulting politician in Scotland. I wait 
now for SNP adherents 
claiming there is no anti-
Englishness in their party membership to line up and tell us their wife, girlfriend, husband, best friend, or whatever, is English, and therefore how can they be anti?

Alexander McKay

New Cut Rigg


Allegations of anti-English racism have been thrown about liberally in the past few days.

Further research has revealed that this foul behaviour has decreased by 17 per cent and that anti-white British racism has increased against Scots and Irish. Will those who disgracefully used the racism card to further their political agenda now apologise?

Prime Minister Cameron has said that “not all countries in the European Union will join the euro”, and Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie admitted on BBC that “nobody is saying that we are going to be thrown out of the European Union”, countering some of the more recent hysterical pronouncements.

The debate deserves better than this. Can we have it?

Bill McLean

Rosemill Court

Dunfermline, Fife